With the summer finally here, it’s time to get out and enjoy the wonderful sights that the UK has to offer. One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors is a hiking trip. With a strong variety of routes available, there are plenty of options to suit any skill or fitness level. With routes suitable for weekend camping trips or short family outings, this hobby continues to be very popular and a great way to stay healthy while taking it in the sights.
If you are heading out for the first time, here are some tips to get the most out of your trip to ensure a fun and enjoyable experience.
- Aim Small
The world of hiking can be a bit much for beginners and it can be difficult to know where to begin in terms of what sort of distance you should be aiming for and what sort of route. If you are a keen walker, you want a distance slightly less than your usual distance as a hiking route is more strenuous. You’ll also want to aim for routes that are low elevation for a beginner route and allow extra time depending on the elevation. If it takes you an hour to walk 3 miles and the hike is up to an elevation of 2000ft, it may take up to 3 hours to hike it.
This is also important when tackling the course. If you are inexperienced with hiking, the temptation will be to go in gung ho and you’ll tire yourself out quickly. This is actually more common with experienced walkers or generally fit people. Those inexperienced with any major exercise are more likely to exercise caution while those with prior experience of other sports will be more likely to do too much too quickly and burn themselves out as hiking is generally more tiring than flat surface walks.
- Use Online Resources to learn more about the route
Once you have selected a route, you can use online tools to learn more about the trail such as best places to park, best spots to stop for a break, any potential hazards, how the route is laid out (i.e. is it a loop or a straight trail?) as well as get a general sense of the area. You can also use online sites to find reviews and other people talking about the route. Some hike trails may have old information so it pays to learn more about how others got on and see if there is anything you need to know. Reviews also give you a chance to verify the level of route it is as the typical ranking system used for hiking trails can be a tad confusing or vague.
- Keep Your Gear Light and Easy
Make sure when setting off that you haven’t packed too much stuff and that what you do have is easy to access and not going to get in your way. Hiking should be enjoyable and calming so having an annoying or heavy bag is only going to ruin your day. Pick the lightest of the key items and opt for easy storage such as in jackets where possible. A list of key items to be aware of can be found below :
- Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
- Extra clothing
- Nutrition (energy blocks like our Luchos!)
- Hydration (extra water)
- Wear the right gear
When planning a hike, having and investing in the right gear is a must in order to keep you safe and comfortable. A key area is obviously the feet for which you will need to invest in quality hiking shoes and socks. This doesn’t mean heavy and clunky leather boots, there are a good variety of hiking shoes at affordable prices. Wool or synthetic socks are the way to go and it is also worth packing blister dressings just in case.
Your feet aren’t the only thing to consider, dressing right is key to comfort on your hike. Synthetic is the ideal material for your clothes. To easily adjust for your temperature and the weather, wear layers that you can add or shed as needed (it can be worth packing a cagoule to give easy storage). You’ll also want a sturdy rucksack, usually one on the back that has everything you need. You want one that is waterproof and free of any damage.
- Tidy Up After Yourself
As always, we want to encourage you to be aware of your surroundings and to keep our gorgeous hiking trails clear when heading out. With bins sometimes minimal on hiking routes, make sure to clean up after yourself and take any trash with you. Our Luchos come wrapped in a compostable Bijao leaf wrapper making them ideal for hiking trips as you can throw the wrapper right on the floor and not do any harm to our local sights.
Hiking is an enjoyable and fun activity that can do you a lot of good as well as allowing you to enjoy the local sights and wildlife that the UK has to offer. Find the right route for you and there really is nothing like it, it’s the perfect summer hobby to try out this year and can be a wonderful getaway weekend treat. We hope you find the right trail and enjoy yourself out there.
If you’d like to learn more about how to keep yourself fuelled for big runs and long distance hikes, you can check out our other post here.